Virtual workshop aims to help Northern Indigenous artists safeguard their work
Tonight’s event important given amount of cultural appropriation that’s occurring, says facilitator Larissa Desrosiers
Organizers of a one-time virtual workshop to be held tonight hope the event will help Indigenous artists from the North navigate their rights and safeguard their work.
The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern time and is being hosted by Indigenous Protocol a platform that helps Indigenous artists living in or connected to Nunavut or the Northwest Territories protect their work.
It also educates non-Indigenous individuals and organizations about respectful engagement and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.
The Protection and Considerations for Northern Indigenous Artists workshop will cover cultural appropriation, safeguarding cultural knowledge, intellectual property and Indigenous artists’ rights and responsibilities when using traditional and contemporary imagery.
There will also be information on how artists can protect their artwork using available tools and legal resources. Iqaluit-based Inuk jeweller Mathew Nuqingaq is the workshop’s featured speaker.
“I’ve seen other non-Indigenous artists flat-out make the same product as Indigenous artists and profit off of that,” said Larissa Desrosiers, an Ojibwe queer musician and beadworker from Couchiching First Nation in Treaty #3 who will facilitate the workshop.
“Or companies will take issues that we advocate for, like Every Child Matters, and use those images and those ideas to profit … but they’re profiting off of something that started with the grassroots community.”
Desrosiers said the workshop is especially important given increasing cultural appropriation by non-Indigenous artists and organizations online.
As a beadworker herself, Desrosiers said she wants non-Indigenous people to be respectful of Indigenous art and artists.
She said the workshop is a space for Indigenous artists from the North to learn from each other, identify how they can protect their work, and ensure their “economic rights are respected, and traditional and cultural expressions are respected.”
Anyone interested in taking part in the Wednesday night workshop can register via the Indigenous Protocols website.